An Overview Of Rapid Prototyping Technologies In Manufacturing

Dr. A. Dolenc Institute of Industrial Automation Helsinki University of Technology July 24, 1994

Abstract This document overviews a new class of manufacturing processes generally known as Rapid Prototyping Techniques or Technologies (RPT) that build parts by adding material on a layer-by-layer basis, in contrast to conventional methods that remove material. We discuss their basic principles, data transfer, applications, and compare them with their conventional counterparts.
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Contents
1 2 3 About This Document What Is Rapid Prototyping? Overview Of Some Processes 3.1 Stereolithography : : : : : : : 3.2 Solid ground curing : : : : : : 3.3 Selective laser sintering : : : : 3.4 Laminated object manufacturing 3.5 A short comparison : : : : : : Data transfer to RPT 4.1 Constraints on the model RPT In Manufacturing 5.1 Toolings : : : : : 5 5

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RPT In Industrial Design RPT In Medical Applications RPT vs conventional technologies Conclusions

10 Acknowledgements

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: : : : : : : : : : : A correct triangulation : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Incorrect triangulations. Development time vs. incorrect slices. : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 7 8 9 10 12 13 13 14 15 15 16 17 19 20 3 . : : : : : : : The state transitions of a parametric surface model. development costs. : : : : : The typical scenario of data preparation. : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Changes in the requirements for the manufacturing industry. : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : A schematic drawing of a SOLIDER process. : : : : : : : : : : Obtaining medical models from scanned images.List of Figures 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 A schematic drawing of an SLA. : : : : : : : : A schematic drawing of an SLS process. : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Correct vs. : : : : : : : : : : : A schematic drawing of a LOM process. : : : : : : RPT vs conventional technologies. : : : : : : : : : : : A scenario between designer and manufacturer.

: A short comparison of some RP processes.List of Tables 1 2 Other Stereolithography-based processes. ::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::: 7 11 4 .

though.uk/nikos/tex2html/latex2html. http://cbl. However. I favour the expression Rapid Prototyping&Manufacturing (RPM). Whereas in the electronic version it suffices to have only the link. Observe that some differences are bound to exist between both versions. 2 1 5 . in other words. a link to another document. 2 What Is Rapid Prototyping? The past decade has witnessed the emergence of new manufacturing technologies that build parts on a layer-by-layer basis. Take. It is true that rapid prototyping (notice the lowercase) can be achieved using conventional methods such as NC milling and hand carving.e. the process was very inaccurate and the choice of materials was limited. 3 Personally. I will explain. The compressed PostScript is obtained using L E file can be obtained via anonymous ftp at sauna.1) in /pub/rp-ml/rp. The first commercial process was presented at the AUTOFACT show in Detroit (US) in November 1987. or months. by a company called 3D Systems. and converted to PostScript using dvips. i. Nowadays. there are over 30 processes some of which are commercial. Inc. The accuracy has improved significantly.Z.1 About This Document This document has two versions.192. it is rapid. manufacturing time for parts of virtually any complexity is measured in hours instead of days.233. the parts obtained where considered prototypes. this is beyond the scope of the present work. In order to regard RP in the right perspective. one would need to compare it with the conventional methods. It may happen that both versions are not updated simultaneously. At that time. a prototype is something to look at. Using these technologies. for instance. and the choice of materials is relatively large. The electronic version is obtained using latex2html1. in the printed version.cs. Unfortunately.ac. a printed version and an electronic version.fi (130. Therefore. serves as a basis for discussion but cannot be used for anything “serious”. the strategic importance of RP and describe in some detail some of the processes that will be referenced later. The printed version AT X. or one of the numerous other expressions that are floating around. Rapid Prototyping Technologies (RPT) have taken enormous strides. weeks.tar A survey dated May 1993 by Wohlers Associates includes 34 processes out of which 11 are commercial with approximately 525 machines sold worldwide.ps. to the extent that the term prototype is becoming misleading.leeds.hut. to the best of my ability. It is very likely that a new term. in a production environment. while others are under development in research laboratories2. Since then. the term RP is normally reserved for the new technologies that build parts by adding material instead of removing it. the parts are more and more frequently being used for functional testing or to derive tools for pre-production testing. it is replaced by a description of the contents of the other document. will replace it in the future3. Like in software engineering.

bottom-most layer. it may be necessary to add support structures to increase the rigidity of the part. Such processes are generally known as Layered Manufacturing Techniques or Technologies (LMT). 3. The model to be manufactured is sliced by a set of parallel planes. The space between two adjacent slices is called a layer. and the information contained herein may become quickly outdated. 16. Scanning time depends on the geometry of the contours. it is not important that they be described in great detail. by the use of materials other than photopolymers. ensures that a flat surface is obtained. Inc. Initially. Table 1 lists other organizations that commercialize processes based on the same principles. and because the interior of the part still contains liquid polymer. and the recoating time (i. These technologies are changing at a quick pace. the part is removed from the vat. A second.1 Stereolithography Our first example of RPT is the Stereolithography apparatus (SLA) (Figure 1). Although the processes described here can differ significantly. The support structures are usually removed manually after the part is taken away from the platform. hatch patterns. Because the part is built in a liquid environment. 6 .g.3 Overview Of Some Processes All the processes described in this Section take as input a 3D model and a set of parameters that are process-dependent. 21. The laser beam that solidifies the liquid is the HeCd-laser shown in the upper-left corner of Figure 1. (US). Finally. For our purposes. and minimizes the processing time of each layer. The elevator is moved downwards. A short explanation on how the process operates is as follows. 24. The component of the process where the part is built is called the workspace. and the subsequent layers are produced analogously. ?]. The liquid is a photopolymer that when exposed to the ultra-violet (uv) laser beam solidifies or is cured. the speed of the laser. The laser beam will scan the surface following the contours of the slice. e. the elevator is located at a distance from the surface of the liquid equal to the thickness of the first. The SLA is not the only process based on Stereolithography. The sweeper4 breaks the surface tension. More information can be found in other sources [13. and to avoid overhangs from sinking to the bottom of the platform or from floating freely in the vat. the layers bind to each other. the underlying theme is the same. The interior of the contour is then hatched using a hatch pattern. they all build parts on a layerby-layer basis. developed and commercialized by 3D Systems.e. Fortunately. 4 Not present in the low-end model of the SLA-family. and the liquid that is still trapped in the interior is usually cured in a special oven. HeNe-laser is used to ensure that the surface of the liquid is in the correct location. 14. the time taken to place a layer of photopolymer over the last solidified layer).

7 . Country Japan Japan France Germany Japan Product SOUP 600. A schematic drawing of an SLA. 600 Soliform 300.HeCd-laser Lenses Mirror Elevator Sweeper Liquid polymer HeNe-laser Platform FIGURE 1. 850 SCS 1000HD SPL 1000. 5000 STEREOS 400. Organization CMET (Mitsubishi) D-MEC (JSR/Sony) Laser 3D EOS GmbH Teijin Seiki Co. 500 TABLE 1. Other Stereolithography-based processes.

a mask is built on a glass plate. The mask is built using a process similar to the one used in laser printers. The third difference is that the parts are built surrounded by wax. A schematic drawing of a SOLIDER process. The second difference concerns the light source: instead of using a laser beam. eliminating the need for support structures5. and On the other hand. a uv-lamp (mercury) is used to flood the chamber and expose and solidify the entire layer at once. a significantly different process (see Figure 2).3. (Israel). Once a layer has been exposed to the uv-lamp. 5 8 . however. the un-cured areas—those areas filled with residual. The glass plate with the mask is placed between the lamp and the surface of the workspace.2 Solid ground curing The SOLIDER system was developed and commercialized by Cubital Ltd. liquid polymer—are replaced by wax. UV-lamp + shutter Mask plate Residual polymer cleaner Polymer Wax spreader spreader Wax cooling plate Milling head Electrical charging Mask development Mask erasure Liquid polymer (current layer) Wax Platform FIGURE 2. The horizontal movements take the workspace to different stations in the machine. and subsequently. The first difference concerns the vat: it moves horizontally as well as vertically. sensitive to uv-light. The wax is hardened by a cold metal plate. This can be done even with a dish washer. erased after begin used. if the geometry of the part permits. one must de-wax the part. This is done by wiping away the residual polymer and applying a layer of wax. To select the areas that should be cured. This avoids the need for post-curing the parts. It is. It also uses a photopolymer.

A laser sinters selected areas causing the particles to melt and then solidify. 3. the layer is milled to the correct height. back to solid again. The latest improvements announced by Cubital are the ability to change the size of the workspace and an additional uv-lamp. Unlike the processes mentioned above where there is only one phase transition. spread over a platform by a roller.subsequently. A schematic drawing of an SLS process.e. Processes that behave in this way 9 . powders of different materials are CO2 Laser Optics Scanning Mirrors Powder Leveling Roller Unsintered Powder Workpiece Part Cylinder and Powder Bed Powder Cartridge Feedding/Collecting System FIGURE 3.3 Selective laser sintering The University of Texas at Austin developed a method for sintering powder materials. The new layer of polymer is applied when the workspace moves from the milling station back to the exposure chamber. an undo operation is possible. Instead of a liquid polymer. The milling station also allows for layers to be removed. in sintering there are two: from solid to fluid. The process is depicted in Figure 3. i.

The materials being used or investigated include plastics. wax. A schematic drawing of a LOM process. 10 . The process developed at Austin is being commercialized by DTM Corp. It is hoped that parts made of materials other than plastics with the required mechanical properties can be made using such processes. Recently. Like the SOLIDER system. metals. EOS GmbH has introduced to the market a process that operates under the same principles. The undersurface of the foil has a binder that when pressed and heated by the roller causes it to Laser Ra Mirror Heated Roller Optic head Platform Feeder Collector FIGURE 4. because the surrounding powder supports the parts being built.are generally known as selective laser sintering (SLS) processes. and coated ceramics. 3.4 Laminated object manufacturing Helysis developed and commercialized a system that cuts and binds foils as illustrated in Figure 4. there is no need for support structures.

materials. Process Company Max. none of the processes excel in all respects. the price of the equipment. 305  381 (  height) 0:13 Part geometry dependent 0:05–0:25mm Thermoplastics (PVC. the SLA process). Regarding the software tools and data exchange formats. Data transfer is now covered in the next Section. 11 . However. To help the removal of the excess material once the parts have been built. Table 26 is a short summary of the differences between the processes discussed in the previous Sections. each process has restrictions imposed by costs. nylon. and size. wax 0 127mm : Paper. and then binding them together. The foil is cut by a laser following the contour of the slice. part size (mm) Layer thickness (min/max. and material costs.5 A short comparison From the user’s point-of-view. the lowest common denominator is triangulated models represented in STL format. Inc. where the interior is hatched. A short comparison of some RP processes. cost. The thickness of the foil is not constant. 508  508  355 0:05–0:15 60–100 layers/hour : SLS 2000 DTM Corp.g. 254  254  254 0:1–0:9 Part geometry dependent 0:2mm Photocurable resins SOLIDER 5600 Cubital Ltd. and functionality.glue to the previous foil. accuracy. Regarding RPT. wax LOM 1015 Helisys 330  2540  381 0:005–0:05 10 mm/hour 1% (all directions) Photocurable resins. building the parts separately. 3. ABS/SAN). 6 This Table was compiled from an internal report of the INSTANTCAM project [3]. geometry. in that various other important aspects are not included. the major aspects taken into consideration in chosing when and how to obtain a part are: time. Therefore. polyester TABLE 2. mm) Speed (vertical) Accuracy Materials SLA 250 3D Systems. and slice the models. nylon. as opposed to fluid-based processes (e. maintenance costs. e. a sensor (not shown in the Figure) measures the current foil thickness. the software architecture and the quality of the tools varies considerably. and the model is sliced accordingly. acceptable results have been obtained by splitting the model in parts. the exterior of the slice is hatched. correct. All vendors supply software tools to verify. The comparison is not complete. When the part does not fit in the workspace of the machine.g.

Besides. the manufacturing costs are directly related to the amount of work spent preparing the data and the actual building of the part. speed is one of the most distinguishing features of RPT when compared to conventional methods. the limiting factor is the time spent preparing the data. one can take slices from medical imaging systems and interpolate intermediary slices that are subsequently used in a LMT process. any software tool that can minimize the number of times the designer and the manufacturer need to communicate or make their communication more efficient is beneficial. The designer delivers the model to the manufacturer using surface Error Description or the Part Designer 3D Model Manufacturer FIGURE 5. Therefore.g. Figure 6 depicts the state transitions of interest undertaken by a model from the moment it is sent by the designer until it is manufactured. In this case. though. For instance. All the state transitions in the diagram are possible. Quite often. these are problems related to data transfer. e. A closer look at how parametric surface models7 are transferred will give us a better understanding of the problems. The model is then verified for correctness and converted to a suitable form if possible. 12 . or STL [1]. a 3D model is never evaluated 7 Henceforth referred to as models. IGES [25]. VDAFS [27]. in many cases. In a nutshell. manufacturing time is known and relatively fast. the use of RPT can only be justified if the part can be obtained quickly. Once the data is correct.4 Data transfer to RPT As mentioned earlier. what is the nature of the mistakes and can they be corrected locally? If the mistakes cannot be corrected locally. mail or by electronic means. In fact. or in some native format when both have access to the same CAD system. The model will usually be represented in some neutral format. A scenario between designer and manufacturer. The former can represent as much as 2=3 of the total costs. how can one describe them to the designer? RP machines are not yet commonplace and the physical distance between the designer and the manufacturer plays a role in delivery time due to difficulties and delays in communication. The manufacturer is faced with the following problems: Is the model correct? If not. Figure 5 sketches a typical scenario.

There is a trend for LMT vendors to develop interfaces based on slicing surface 13 . and this cannot be done with sliced models. IGES or VDAFS) Facetted Model in Neutral Format (e. The typical scenario of data preparation.a+b.Model in Internal. The format for representing the slices is proprietary. 3 The reason is that in some cases it is important to be able to position the model arbitrarily in the workspace of the machine.g. On the other hand. Normally. Native Format of Application Programs + a+b+c Surface Model in Neutral Format (e. and to perform the slicing of faceted models. The state transitions of a parametric surface model. The current de facto data exchange standard for representing faceted models is called STL [1].g. each vendor supplies the software tools for verifying the correctness of the model. a faceted model is created and then sliced again (path b+a.). This format requires significant redundancy and is restricted to triangles. (path b+b. some processes cannot effectively handle sliced models—or “2 1 D” models—therefore.). The typical scenario is shown in Figure 7. is used for creating the model. generate process-dependent data. STL) Sliced Model LMT Process FIGURE 6. A 3D CAD system—a surface or solid modeller— a+ aaa+ aa+ CAD System Verifier/ Corrector Process dependent Slicer b- LMT Process FIGURE 7. The most common step that follows is facetting the model.

1 Constraints on the model As mentioned above. The models can contain gaps due to missing facets. due to the fact. faceted models. The reasons for such errors are related to the application that generated the faceted model. For instance. e.models together with major CAD vendors. In a correct STL-file. etc. Errors in the model can interfere with the building process. the same edge may be shared by more than two facets. FIGURE 8. it is possible to distinguish precisely the inside from the outside of the model. i. The mistakes can be numerous (Figure 9). A correct triangulation In order for models to be correctly manufactured they must represent a collection of one or more non-intersecting solids. each triangle has exactly one neighbour along each edge. and the user. Special cases of these errors may occur that require separate treatment. the application that generated the original 3D CAD model.e. One of the objectives is to eliminate the need for always generating intermediary. facets may intersect at incorrect locations. The possibility of this happening is great. The current de facto standard is the STL format [1] which allows one to represent triangulated models. and triangles are only allowed to intersect at common edges and vertices. Many STL interfaces in CAD systems fail to inform the user that the result is not correct and problems remain undetected until the manufacturer attempts to process the model. Therefore.g. that the tool in this case is a laser 14 . overlapping facets (coplanar facets whose intersection results in another facet). quite often incorrect faceted models are used. stray vectors might be created (Figure 10). Unfortunately. 4. each facet is a triangle. the interest in correctly slicing models for LMT is growing. data transfer between CAD systems and RP processes is mainly based on data exchange formats capable of representing faceted models. if a slice contains a gap when the internal structure of the slice is built. Under these conditions. The manufacturer hopes to receive “well-behaved” STL-files such as the one outlined in Figure 8.

15 .Gap FIGURE 9.e. Correct vs. a solid. 8 Not all processes use a laser beam but similar problems may occur with other processes. can only guaranteed to be obtained if the original model is correct. beam of small diameter (approximately 0:2mm in an SLA). These stray vectors damage the resulting part and possibly other parts being built in the same platform. the internal structures used in practice will probably differ from the ones shown in Figure 10. and the distance between the hatch lines may be likewise apart8. incorrect slices. Incorrect triangulations. but they all require simple. These. proprietary information. The internal structure is process-dependent and is usually Contour of the slice Stray vectors Hatch pattern FIGURE 10. Therefore. non-intersecting contours to be successfully created. i. in turn.

or complex such as differences in the internal housing. In addition. 16 . These differences are needed in order to attend to specific needs of users or to differenciate oneself from the competition. Figure 11 [26] illustrates how the requirements for the manufacturing industries have changed over the past three decades. One partner in the INSTANTCAM project markets appliances in Number of Variants Product Lifetime 1970 1980 1990 1970 1980 1990 Product Complexity Required Delivery Time 1970 1980 1990 1970 1980 1990 FIGURE 11. one is frequently faced with the choice of either extending the development time or increasing the resources in order to meet the deadlines. or colors. Changes in the requirements for the manufacturing industry. To illustrate the strategic importance of RPT. The different technical features can be simple such as different materials. plugs. 10 countries. it is the development time and not the cost that is critical for the results (Figure 12 [18]). as an example. time to market has been identified as a key factor in profitability.5 RPT In Manufacturing RPT can be useful to anyone who manufactures a product or needs a physical object. forcing a design group to develop new products whithin a shorter time. The same product family may have 6 different motors and 4 different technical features. Under these circumstances. During the development process. we will use. the manufacturing industries. product lifetimes are becoming shorter.

In this way. Requirements can be refined and better understood leading to better products that meet the market demands. RPT allows a physical model to be available as soon as a 3D CAD model is ready. ultimately. Different groups—design. The physical model is a perfect communication tool. then a physical model is worth a thousand pictures. it is essential to avoid communication problems. development costs. commitments that affect manufacturing costs and. Again. This scenario requires changes on how a product is developed. if a picture is worth a thousand words. The goal must be clear to everyone involved. production—must cooperate more closely towards a common goal and work concurrently. development of a physical product does not differ from software development: the cost of introducing changes increases significantly as one reaches the final stages of development. the development time for toolings can be reduced by half. parts produced via RPT are more and more frequently being used for functional tests and for obtaining tools that can be used for pre-series production tests.Product Lifetime: 5 Years DEVIATION Extending development time by about 6 months Increasing development costs by about 50% 5% DECREASED PROFITS 30% FIGURE 12. marketing. In addition. engineering. and if cooperation is to be effective. Rapid Prototyping cannot be used effectively by product developers that do not use a 3D CAD system to create a model of the product. Development time vs. errors can be found at an earlier stage when changes are not so costly. In this respect. RPT can be an effective means for evaluating a design before costly committments are made. 17 . the final cost of the product. the analogy holds: prototype software is developed for the same reason! However. Another important aspect is the cost of introducing changes in the design of a product. It has been estimated that using RPT effectively.

Soligen claims that their process can also eliminate the staircases using different principles. The staircase effect can be addressed in several ways. but there is relief in sight. Clearly.5. 7 RPT In Medical Applications Applying RPT in the medicine is a new and exciting field. Soligen’s DSPC process is capable of producing ceramic shells. Each one has limitations concerning the geometry of the part. the Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA. post-treatment can be applied. Secondly. Various process chains have been reported in the literature [19. are developing a process they call Multiphase Jet Solidification which can build plastic. This effect can be minimized by choosing a suitable building direction. but rather often this is done at the expense of building time and costs. Stuttgart. precision. and is now in beta testing [21. Many applications have become possible due to the convergence of three distinct technologies. the part is usually polished. good software tools can help minimize the problem [5]. 29]. Firstly. A well-established method is vaccum casting. number of parts that can be manufactured. some process chains. 6 RPT In Industrial Design When comparing industrial design applications to the manufacturing of toolings. the processes can be improved to virtually eliminate the problem. Bremen.1 Toolings The ideal situation is the ability to build any part with any material. Germany). this is not yet possible. are restricted to a certain RP process. Computer Graphics and CAD. one obtains a silicon mould from which approximately 20 parts can be made in Epoxy or investment casting wax. Computer-Assisted Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provide high resolution images of internal structures of the human body. such as QuickCast. For instance. namely Medical Imaging. Finally. e. the role of dimensional accuracy is not as significant as the quality of the surface. the technology developed by Laser 3D [2] can use a layer thickness as low as 0 :015mm resulting in parts with no noticable staircase effect to the naked eye. and RPT. Two Institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Germany. bone structures and organs. The properties offered by RPT part are sufficiently good nowadays to enable the production of prototype toolings by using a process chain. and materials that can be obtained in the final part.g. and ceramic parts [12]. and in this case. Once 18 . It should be clear to the reader by now that parts made via LMT exhibit a staircase effect. 15]. Germany) and the Institute for Applied Material Research (IFAM. Another exciting project is being carried out at the Carnegie-Mellon University (USA) where a process capable of building composite parts is being developed [11]. metallic. In addition. From the RPT model.

html.cs. A 3D CAD model containing 700000 triangles was obtained from the pictures.fi/ado/chromosome in the document chromosome. a chromosome was depleted of DNA by enzymatic digestion. Image Processing Toolbox Images (pixmaps) RP-specific Data Generation Contours. 9 19 . Physical models. Figure 13 depicts this process. and the original pictures of the chromosome. Markers where introduced to serve as reference points for the 3D reconstruction. hidden line removal. may become an indispensible tool for researches in the field. including electron microscopic tomography.these images have been processed by suitable software tools. If the surgeries can be carried out more successfully. In this case. leaving just the scaffold. it is possible to transfer the result to a RP process and obtain a physical part. were taken. Internal vectors. less costs associated to post-operative treatment are expected. and animations. though. Together. EM photographs of tilted series from 0o to 60o . Another recent application has been the manufacturing of a human chromosome9. and improvements in the quality of the results. stereo projections. reduced patient suffering. Support structures Contours RP Process Physical Part Edge Detection FIGURE 13. with steps of 3o . Chromosomes are extremely complex.hut. in addition to reduced risks. Obtaining medical models from scanned images. called a medical model. these technologies provide doctors and surgeons with a new tool—physical models of human internal structures—to better plan and prepare complex surgeries. A description of this episode can be found through the World Wide Web at http://www. Several visualization techniques are used to understand their structure. and a physical model was then built. It contains color photographs and videos of the model. Next.

or even hand-made parts. tolerance requirements. using a chain of processes that includes a RPT part. though. one should regard RPT as one more option in the toolkit for manufacturing parts. Figure 14 depicts a rough comparison between RPT and milling regarding the costs and time of manufacturing one part as a function of part complexity10. can bring benefits in the form of better products in shorter lead times. This is usually the choice when manufacturing production toolings. 9 Conclusions It is impossible to cover all aspects of these relatively new manufacturing processes without being brief at times. 20 . The reader should browse the literature to overcome the obvious limitations of this work.8 RPT vs conventional technologies RPT does not—and will not—replace completely conventional technologies such NC and highspeed milling. when applied correctly. part complexity cannot be defined precisely. type of CAD system used to generate tool paths. and what is not. Out of context. and the ratio between these two. these are company dependent. and so on. 10 The original figure is part of an unpublished report of the INSTANTCAM project. to some extent. from one company to another. the same results in a shorter period of time. indirectly. More important. But. Concerning material requirements. it is clear that when using milling one can always obtain directly a part with the desired mechanical properties. and at reduced costs. as mentioned earlier. The axis have no values. Rather. that the part can be manufactured by either technology such that the material and tolerance requirements are met. but it certainly contains the following ingredients: model size. RPT offers clear advantages when more than one copy of a complex part must be made. RPT vs conventional technologies. a complex part varies. It is clear that these technologies. assumed. Again. total number of surfaces in the CAD model. evidently. It is Costs Time LMT NC milling High-speed milling Complexity Complexity FIGURE 14. what is. it is many times possible to obtain. wall height and thickness. is their effective introduction in the current working practices of companies.

The schematic drawings of the processes were made available by Joakim Simons and Benjamin Sederholm from the Mechanical Engineering Department of our Institute. Germany). [3] V. February 1994. Jensen (the Danish Technological Institute. Denmark). References [1] 3D Systems. Optimized Triangulation of Parametric Surfaces. At HUT. Stereophotolithography: A Brand New Machinery. [2] A. Software Tools for Rapid Prototyping Technologies in Manufacturing. University of Texas at Austin. pages 155–160. Israel. Computer-aided Surface Geometry and Design (Mathematics of Surfaces IV). we received the financial support of TEKES. In Adrian Bowyer. Stereolithography Interface Specification. 26(2):119–126. PhD thesis. Portugal. Inc. Available from the author. M´ edard. Raanana 43650. Texas. LMT Processes Comparison. Helsinki University of Technology. P-1096 Lisboa Codex. Computer-Aided Design. Instituto Superior T´ ecnico. M¨ akel¨ a. C. A lot of material presented here was derived from reports of that project. Austin. Industrial Zone North. Ohio USA. In Third International Conference on Rapid Prototyping. Cubital Facet List Syntax Guide. and P. Norway). Technical report. [4] Cubital Ltd. 62. Address: Av.10 Acknowledgements I was introduced to RPT while participating in the INSTANTCAM project. July 1988. An improved version of this work can be found in [5]. Mathematics and Computer Science Series No. Slicing Procedures for Layered Manufacturing Techniques. 1991.. LEAF: A Data Exchange Format for LMT Processes. M¨ akel¨ a. 1994. August 1992. and my collegue Ismo M¨ akel¨ a. particularly Hans M¨ uller (BIBA. M¨ akel¨ a. 21 . Rovisco Pais 1. [8] A. pages 169–183. Dolenc and I. pages 260–271. Germany). editor. [6] A. number 48 in The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications Conference Series. Dolenc and I. an European Consortium of partners from both industry and research centers. [7] A. Schaeffer. Dolenc. Published in ACTA POLYTECHNICA SCANDINAVICA . Dayton. The Conference took place at Bath University (UK) in September 1990. Bent Mieritz and Karsten L. USA. Ulrich Reetz (Black&Decker GmbH. Clarendon Press (Oxford). Burguete. June 7–10 1992. This article is a subset of [5]. Dolenc and I. 13 Ha’Sadna St.-L.. I am very gratefull to these partners. Allanic. Reidar Hovtun (NTH-SINTEF Production Engineering. [5] A. October 1993. In Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium.

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